The Worst Ducati in Dallas


"Stay Thirsty my Friends"
esmoojee said:
Just out of curiosity, what caused your back wheel to lock?
By how he described it, sounds like condensation in the brake lines. I had the same thing happen on the front brake on a supermoto I had that sat for 8 months. Honestly I didn't remember the last time it had had a brake service either, probably a year before that.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic meaning it can absorb moisture from the air... in some cases when the brake is hot, this water will travel down to the caliper. When that water hits the hot caliper it flash boils and evaporates quickly creating pressure which can lock up the brakes. Not fun on the front for sure. The lesson here is to service your brakes regularly. This happens more to smaller calipers that are working hard to shave off heat. Modern dual disk, with multiple pistons and heat sinks handle it better than say my stock front dirtbike caliper on a bigger rotor, or the OPs smaller rear brake.

Not sure this is what happened to the OP, but that was my experience... caused me 2 days in the hospital and 8 weeks recovery from a broken collar bone from my helmet crushing into it when I hit the ground. A few broken ribs, 2 fingers and a rowdy concussion. Luckily I was wearing full get or I might not be here today. I completely cracked an Arai helmet from smacking the pavement. It was a rough crash, I actually took almost 3/4 of a year off of riding because of all the physical therapy and my shoulder not being strong enough to comfortably control a bike.

Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
looks like the rear hub eccentric has been rotated to the top, lowering the rear. seems low at the back.

generally rear wheels lock due to not enough freeplay in the rear brake pedal.


Active Member
teazer said:
I am a big fan of carbon fiber, but not a fan of tiny headlamp shell bubble butt seats. To me, they look out of proportion and don't match the frame style or the tank.

Style is a personal thing and what looks right to one of us may look like crap to someone else, so these are just my thoughts.

The frame is OK as is and it may even be possible to keep the subframe if you kept the underseat pipes, but with a different shaped seat hump. If you go with low pipes, the back end of the subframe might be hanging out there behind thr seat hump. The subframe has a nice curve which could be incorporated into the seat shape or hidden if you go with a more vertical seat back.

With a bread box tank the seat probably needs to have some "squareness" to it so I'm thinking an updated version of the old 750SS Imola seat - restyled to work better with the tank. Or perhaps an MHR (original) inspired seat shape. The tank sets the tone for the overall shape/style and the rest has to work with it. Square or round, long or short, fairing or not, low pipes or underseat or high level

That's a thought. High level pipes like an SS - something like this one in principle.

With the frame, I would not alter the main frame. And the subframe doesn't have to have the table top/Featherbed look in steel. It can be implied by matching the seat and tank lines without cutting metal. I'd probably change the frame color to black with any color bodywork or red with silver just because it reminds me of the best looking Norton 650Ss cafe racer I remember from the sixties.
Hey Richard do you mean a tail more like this one? Another Radical Ducati btw! You are so right about what looks awesome to one person looks like crap to another! That's why you build the bike that you like not what other people think it should be. That's what I love about custom building, you get exactly what YOU want 8)



Well-Known Member
John, that is a very sexy bike for sure. I like the color, fairing and tank and the way the seat is incorporated into the style. That tail piece is a copy of a TD3/ twin shock TZ and IMHO is still too small and strangely a little too razor edged.

I was initially thinking of this but squared up a bit to make it less round.

But that makes me think of other Yamahas. Check out the shape on a M1 racer. I am sure that the hump shape could be adapted and shrunk a little to make a killer seat hump for a Duc if it were integrated much as the one you posted.

Seat shapes take me a while to work out. The Phat Trakka was version 6 or 7. On the Dunstall, I tried a few different shapes to try to make it work with the stock tank and went with the Dunstall for a classic look. On another GT750 I keep going between the R7 seat in the avatar and an Aprilia RS250 rounded style. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and I'm not a naturally gifted stylist. It's hard work.

Each to their own.


New Member
Good morning fellas.

Sorry for the gap in updates. I’ll catch up on a few things that are being discussed.

The rear Brake:
First, I’m reasonably certain that the rear brake locked due to water in the brake fluid. The bike looked to have sat for some time before I got it. And due to the location of the rear master, I’m sure nobody bled it unless it was absolutely necessary.

The Body:
There are tons of great ideas going up on this thread. I love that most of them are XTR Pepo or Radical Ducati. For me, those bikes strike a fantastic mix of function and form. I plan to lean a little in the opposite direction with slightly more emphasis on form than function. Don’t get me wrong, this thing is going to go, stop and turn with the best of them. But aesthetics will take the front seat.
All that said, I think I have the seat/tail sorted out. There will be some exciting updates in the next month or so.

Actual physical progress has been slow. I have spent a ton of time scouring the internet for ideas, parts and processes to achieve the build I imagine. While I’m waiting on parts from what feels like all corners of the globe, I decided to knock out a small upgrade.
Turns out the PO had installed this:

The research I did told me it was a “Stage 1” chip from Fast by Ferracci. A friend of mine in the racing world told me that they are pretty much the name in Ducati performance parts for that era of bike.
I emailed them and described the mods that the bike currently had and where I was headed with it. They recommended a “Stage 2” chip.
So, out with the old:

In with the new:

Before anybody says it, I contacted Ferracci and the chip IS installed correctly. The label was simply applied upside down. They further informed me that the dial circled in red is to lean/richen the mixture. I probably won’t be messing with that until dyno time.

That’s all I got this morning fellas. I promise, much, much more to come. Thanks for all your interest and ideas. This is shaping up to be a fun thread.


New Member
A friend of mine made it clear that to move forward with this build I needed to take it apart. So I did.
I labeled and pulled out all the wiring. I plan to simplify the harness during reassembly. I’m not sure exactly how much I’ll be able to remove but a rework will be necessary. Much of the fuel system, ignition and sensors will remain. There are a number of “mystery connectors” that I will have to research.

Next, I removed the clip-ons and controls as they were damaged in the crash. The brakes, and clutch slave followed. I’m debating on whether or not they will be reused. I’ve got a little bit of an itch for a set of 848 fork legs. They are available with Ohlins’ internals and they support radial mount calipers. Aaaaand according to much of the internet, they will slide with into the existing clamps. The speed-o cable becomes the only real concern. I’ve toyed with the idea of a GPS speed-o but I haven’t found one that fits the project yet.

At the end of the afternoon the bike looked like this:

And the workbench looked like this:

Oh yea, these guys showed up earlier this week.

That’s right, new clip-ons from Woodcraft. I’m probably a little too excited about them. But if your project doesn’t excite you at every turn, you’re doing it wrong.

Pulling the engine to send off to my mechanic is the next step. So, we’ll see how that goes.

Thanks for reading. More updates to come.


New Member
As the Duc came further and further apart I started contemplating exactly how I was going to support the bike as the project continued. I have plenty of motorcycle stands but the only one I have that is compatible at all with the Duc is the Pit-Bull SSSA stand. There is no hole in the bottom of the lower triple. So, my head stand is out. Neither of my other stands will (securely) lift a bike by the fork. I read online about using ratchet straps in eyehooks in the ceiling but that didn’t really sit well with me. My garage is pretty stinkin’ pristine and I intend to keep it that way. I had planned on sending the engine away to summer camp at “The Metric Garage”. Which is my friend’s moto repair shop. You see, the problem with Ducati’s (as if there is only one) is that the bottom of the motor isn’t flat enough to support the engine without tipping over. Tipping is for cows, not Ducs. Also, I wanted to be able to have the motor painted and perfect to go back into the frame when it comes time. A trip to the Internet eventually yielded this:

I figured that this wouldn’t be my last Duc. Furthermore, Ducati did a wonderful job of making small refinements that results in all kinds of cross-compatibility across it’s range for many years. That’s basically the story of the Monster and the current Ducati Super Sport. Both parts bin bikes. A little research revealed that this engine stand would fit a huge number of Ducati engines. So I clicked “check out” and then it was up to UPS.

The engine stand arrived Friday. Over a glass of Bourbon I hatched a plan to remove the engine early Saturday morning. One would assume that I was not the first garage monkey to attempt to pull a motor from a 748 with zero idea how to do it. The next morning, coffee in-hand, I went to the garage and thought. Surely the stand would be tall enough to get the engine close to installation height. It only stands to reason. Wouldn’t you know that wasn’t exactly the case. With the bike on the SSSA stand, the bolts for the engine stand damn near lined up but not quite. I tried lifting up on the front end but then I couldn’t install the stand bolts. I decided to live dangerously and use the stand I had been using for the CB175 to lift the front of the bike so the engine stand could be bolted up tight. A few VERY nervous moments later the stand was installed and supporting the front end of the bike. The front end stand was quickly taken out of action.

Remember three pages ago when I said that I had bought the worst Ducati in Dallas? I found further proof when I started to remove the bolts that hold the engine to the trellis frame. You see, Ducati engines are what is known as a “Stressed Member”. Which means that they are integral to the bikes structure and rigidity. Imagine my surprise to discover that the two main bolts were loose as well as the swingarm bolt. Yep, the engine was little more than finger tight in the frame. It’s a miracle that this thing got as far as it did before the rear wheel locked up. This bike was truly a mess. It’s a shame because most, and I mean MOST, people don’t take a torque wrench when the go to buy a bike. In the future, I will.

Fast forward about an hour and two cups of coffee and I had this:

I actually picked up the frame, front end still installed because I don’t have the stupid f*cking tool to remove the yokes, and lifted it over the engine. Job done.

Around 30 minutes later I had the rolling chassis back on the ground. The problem is that the kickstand is bolted directly to the engine case. So the bike will need to remain on the SSSA stand until further notice. I reinstalled the factory clip-ons for ease of maneuverability. After all, I don’t want to scratch up pretty new parts.

Stay tuned for the next update. There is literally smoke rolling off of my credit card but there are new goodies on the way. Also, I hope to detab this motherf*cker tomorrow. See everybody soon!


Active Member
You are lucky. I had a 748 that decided to drop a valve at 9k rpm. The engine was terrible to get out, I spent 2 days with a saws-all and I don't know how many blades cutting the swingarm bolt. It was so seized to the bushings I had to cut the swingarm completely out of the frame, and use a 20t press to get the pieces out. Ended up doing an 853 big bore as it cost the same as rebuilding it stock, luckily I had a spare set of heads for valve adjustments.


New Member

Yep, an Ohlins front end from a 1098 complete with Brembo monoblock calipers! Everything I read says this is a direct swap. Win.



New Member
Turns out that the internet was right. These forks bolted straight up. Before anybody asks, the forks were just slapped in. I don’t plan on running them that high in the yokes. I’m going to set it as close as possible to factory rake/trail settings for that bike.
Wheels will be a little bit of a thing as the axle is much larger in diameter. I’ve got my eye on a set meant for the 848 that should do the trick.

The speedo drive will be the other issue. I believe the 848 gets speed information from the trans. But Ohlins and radial mount monoblock calipers are a win.

I’ve got two big pieces that should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. Then the fun really starts.

Completely related, anybody want a Ducati front end? ;)
axle diameter should still be 25mm, but the rh end of the 848 axle is much larger, and the 848 axle nut goes into the fork leg, so it too is larger. i'd almost say with an 848 axle the 748 wheels and speedo drive (no tang to lock it tho) would go straight in. but the disc offset is possibly wrong, altho that might be crap.


New Member
brad black said:
axle diameter should still be 25mm, but the rh end of the 848 axle is much larger, and the 848 axle nut goes into the fork leg, so it too is larger. i'd almost say with an 848 axle the 748 wheels and speedo drive (no tang to lock it tho) would go straight in. but the disc offset is possibly wrong, altho that might be crap.
Yea, I think you are right. Since I am planning on ditching the stock instruments I'll probably just buy a front wheel for an 848. The research I have done says I'll need offset rotors. Since I have to buy a wheel, axle and rotors, I'll just buy the right stuff for the front end and probably use a magnet-type speedo. I mean, speed is relative any way.


New Member
Well, it’s true. The waiting is in fact the hardest part. But the wait is over. At least for my tank.

Yea, the weaves are different but I’m likely going to trim the airbox down so that the 1k weave is only visible inside. Also, there will be paint.

Now I am just waiting on the seat/tail section before moving any further forward.

Here she sits, waiting for more parts.

Popeye SXM

Also used for MX
Very nice. I wish my shop was as clean as yours. Is the tank lined?, I though petrol and cf were a bad mix long term. Please keep the updates coming, I am enjoying seeing this Ducati transform


New Member
Popeye SXM said:
Very nice. I wish my shop was as clean as yours. Is the tank lined?, I though petrol and cf were a bad mix long term. Please keep the updates coming, I am enjoying seeing this Ducati transform
Thanks for the compliment on the shop. I built my last bike in relative squalor and disorganization. So, when I built out the garage at this house, I was very particular. A place for everything and what not.

As for the tank, I'm not entirely sure if it needs any treatment before introducing fuel. The manufacturer made no mention of this. And if I recall, ethanol is the component of fuel that doesn't play right with the resins. However, I'm sure somebody on here knows better than me.

Finally, I have a question for you fellas. I'm planning on altering the exhaust to a single muffler. I despise under-tail exhausts. As such, I am going to have to fab a chunk of the exhaust. Is there a formula to calculate the "one" pipe diameter of a two-into-one exhaust? I suppose I could measure the Arrow headers where they come from the head, there us a two-into-one collector just after the head and come up with a ratio of diameters. Or do I simply need to keep the same internal "area" of the pipes after they merge?


Oh the usual... I bowl, I drive around...
Man that gas tank looks amazing! I would definitely check with the manufacturer before putting in pump gas. Usually carbon fiber/fiberglass tanks are used for racing where racing fuel is used so there is no ethanol to eat the resin. If you're using pump gas I'm almost positive you need to seal it with a deferent type of epoxy unless the manufacturer already did that of course.

The collector should be only 2 or 3 sizes bigger than the primary. Common size on a 2>1 with 1.5" primaries is 1.75-1.875" collector

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